Ali Izmailov Plows Through Tough Veteran Israel Duffus

Power-punching WBC #13 and WBO #14 light heavyweight contender Ali Izmailov returned to action last Friday night (January 7, 2022) with an impressive four-round stoppage of capable Panamanian veteran Israel Duffus on the untelevised undercard of the ShoBox: The New Generation event at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla.

One of the heaviest punchers in the world at 175 lbs., Izmailov (7-0, 5 KOs), from Malgobek, Russia, had things all his way against the determined but outgunned former WBC FECARBOX Light Heavyweight Champion Duffus (20-8, 17 KOs). Despite facing a long list of top prospects, the normally durable Duffus hasn’t lost to a fighter with a loss on his record since 2014 and hadn’t been stopped since 2016. Izmailov dropped Duffus in the third with a clubbing right hand and stunned him badly with another before Referee Chris Young halted the action mercifully at :34 of the fourth.

As promised, Izmailov concentrated much of his brutal attack on the body with both of his concrete hands, which softened Duffus up for the thudding finish. Surprisingly, Izmailov looks to have shored up his defense considerably as Duffus missed more than other opponents have previously in the Russian’s career.

The fight was Izmailov’s second with all-star trainer John David Jackson, with whom he now works and resides in Florida.

“I felt unbeatable,” said Izmailov, post-fight. “He couldn’t touch me and I was hitting harder than ever. Thank you to my trainer John David and Salita Promotions for this opportunity to stay active and show my improved skills.”

“Ali’s fight last Friday was a very good performance for him,” added John David Jackson. “He systematically broke his opponent down with a good jab, a great body attack and very good defense. Some people were concerned with the opponent we had chosen for him, but I knew that he would come through with flying colors. He is definitely ready for bigger and better boxing matches.”

Quickly gaining a reputation with his punching power as the next Russian Bloc strongman soon to make his considerable presence felt in the light heavyweight division, the 28-year-old Izmailov appears to be rounding into form for a championship challenge, despite just seven professional fights. The former amateur star has been fast-tracked by promoter Salita, who says he likes what he saw last Friday from his fighter.

“I was very impressed with the improvements Ali and John have already made together,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Ali is going from the hardest puncher in the division to a nightmare for anyone to try and face with John in his corner and it showed Friday night. That was a good opponent that Ali took apart easily and didn’t have to pay a heavy price for doing it with his improved defense. I am very happy with his performance, overall. He will be in an even bigger fight sometime this year.”



Last Saturday (Jan 8, 2022), elite heavyweight prospect Fernely Feliz Jr. of Danbury, Connecticut, moved his young pro career forward another notch by easily stopping Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Cleveland Billingsly III in under a round.

Looking markedly more relaxed than in his pro debut last November and fighting on promoter Joseph Samara’s BlackSheep Promotions event at the Tennis Center in Delray Beach, Florida, Feliz landed his fast punches at will against the badly outgunned Billingsly.

A powerful right hook/left hook combination put Billingsly in a daze and a follow-up barrage convinced Referee Samuel Burgos he had seen enough. The official time was 1:13.

“I felt amazing in there. I felt like it was a perfect performance,” said a happy Feliz, post-fight. “This time I wanted to let my hands go and show my speed. I felt like last time I was thinking too much. It was my first fight, so I was being extra careful. Today I wanted to show my hand speed and it worked out perfectly.”

A former USA National Amateur Champion and #1 amateur super heavyweight, the colorful 25-year-old says he and father/trainer Fernely Sr. will next be looking for him to gain some size to compete in the big man’s division.

“I’m weighing in at 215, so I want to put on some more weight,” Feliz explained. “Skill wise, I’m always learning, but I want some more muscle. I wasn’t feeling the strength of my last opponent, but when I start fighting the really bigger guys, it could be a different story if I don’t gain some size.”

“I thought he looked phenomenal,” said Feliz’s promoter, Gino Limeri from Bulldog Promotions of the fight. “I can already see improvement from the first fight. We want to keep him active, so stayed tuned as you will see him again very soon.”

“Jr. is coming into himself,” added manager, Steven Heid The hard work and great sparring he got with Luis “King Kong” Ortiz is already paying dividends. I see can see his confidence building. I’m telling you right now, this kid is like a freight train steaming down the tracks and anyone that steps in front of this train is going to get run over!”

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